UPDATE: AFT President Explains Trigger Document Takedown
#parenttrigger AFT president Randi Weingarten emailed me to say that she'd never seen or approved the PowerPoint below until yesterday. "The powerpoint didn't represent AFT or my views, nor does it represent the Conn Fed's views," she wrote. It was apparently one of many presentations posted online after the July TEACH conference in DC (which I attended). In this case, the panel was called "Damaging Legislative Proposals and What You Can Do to Fight Them!" There's now a note on the AFT site explaining "We have received complaints about these materials and have removed them because they do not represent AFT's position." Somewhat like Jonah Edelman in his apology for the infamous Aspen Ideas Festival video, Weingarten is clear about the wrong tone and choice of words having been used but isn't distancing herself from the legislative work that was done to modify the trigger proposal. "We are proud of the work in Conn, but disagree with the wording and what the wording in the power point represented." (And of course, it wasn't Weingarten who gave the ill-considered presentation in the first place.) One last point to keep in mind during the next 24 hours of bloviation and grandstanding: many of the reformy organizations that often do battle with the AFT are ambivalent if not opposed to the parent trigger themselves, and some of the pro-educator organizations like Parents Across America have members -- Caroline Grannan for one -- who are vehemently opposed to the trigger idea as well.
From the AFT: "We received complaints about the PowerPoint, and, after reviewing it, took it down because it didn't reflect our work. The truth is that we created an avenue for parents in Connecticut to become involved in their children’s school. As a result, parent councils are being formed all over the state, which will lead to better schools. We are proud that we were involved in passing this law and believe it will serve as a model for other states."